Versailles on Paper

This exhibition documents the contemporary representation of Versailles through a multifaceted array of prints, books, maps, medals, and manuscripts. It highlights in particular those elements that today survive only on paper: ephemeral festivals; short-lived creatures (courtiers, animals, flowers); fragile groves and fountains too costly to maintain; and once celebrated masterpieces of art and architecture that were irrevocably destroyed or altered.

Pas de quatre

We were asked recently about the watercolor attributed to Alfred Edward Chalon (1780-1860) of the four leading ballerinas of the 1840s, Fanny Cerrito, Lucile Grahn, Carlotta Grisi, and Marie Taglioni, in the Pas de Quatre, composed by Jules Perrot and danced on July 12, 1845. This painting was the source for a popular lithograph by […]

What are “Mems”?

This post is directed to our friends in Great Britain who might answer the question: “What are mems?” The term appears in such book titles as: A Paper, of Tobacco: Treating of The Rise, Progress, Pleasures, and Advantages of Smoking: With Anecdotes of Distinguished Smokers, Mems on Pipes and Tobacco-Boxes, and a Tritical Essay on […]

Go With the Floe

Heading to the North Pole? South Pole? Or perhaps you're on an unintentional grand tour of the globe? Hop on this convenient ice floe with some slightly puzzled penguins and polar bear and prepare to see the world!

A Nincompoop and Other Prints

  Princeton University class “Caricature and Modernity: 1776-1914” (ART 453/ECS 453) visited the Graphic Arts Collection this week to view prints and watercolors by James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, and other British caricaturists. With frequent bursts of laughter, the class looked primarily at the collection of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895, who donated several thousand […]

Peter Coffin’s Spiral Rainbow

The spiral as a conceptual archetype is a recurring theme in the work of the American artist Peter Coffin, such as in his 2006 commission for Peter Norton’s annual Christmas gifts. Taking the format of a common photograph album, Coffin organized a series of postcards depicting rainbows into a three-dimensional spiral forming one enormous rainbow. […]


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